Cargo surveyor Intertek Testing Services reported that exports of Malaysian palm oil products for May 1-10 rose 41.3 percent from the same period in April to 458,677 tonnes as shipments to India and Europe doubled, with buyers snapping up duty-free cargoes of crude palm oil.Another cargo surveyor Societe Generale de Surveillance reported a 45 percent increase in exports in the same period.
But despite the sudden jump in demand, with a weaker Malaysian currency making the ringgit-denominated palm feedstock cheaper for overseas buyers, the rise in end-stocks kept a lid on gains.
The Malaysian Palm Oil Board put out figures showing palm inventories at the end of April rose to 2.19 million tonnes, their highest since November and exceeding market forecasts of 2.13 million.
"Our exports were very strong, the ringgit is weak and overseas markets are slightly friendly ... but the market is not showing it," said a trader with a foreign commodities brokerage in Kuala Lumpur, adding that high stocks would hold the market back.
The benchmark July contract on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives exchange had inched up 1.5 percent to 2,195 ringgit ($609.98) a tonne by Monday's close.
Total traded volume stood at 36,211 lots of 25 tonnes each, above the average 35,000 lots.
The ringgit had fallen 0.1 percent to 3.5985 per U.S. dollar by 1015 GMT Monday.
Rising output in April signals the end of palm's low production season, paving the way to bigger stockpiles which would weigh on benchmark prices, analysts said.
"We expect stocks to rise further in the coming months, driven by the seasonally higher CPO output," said Ivy Ng, regional head of plantations research at CIMB Investment Bank.
"This could dampen CPO prices unless Indonesia is successful in raising its biodiesel usage under the new biodiesel programme soon."
In vegetable oil markets, the U.S. July soyoil contract was up 0.6 percent in late Asian trade, while the most active September soybean oil contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange gained 1.3 percent.
In other markets, oil slipped below $65 a barrel on Monday as signs that U.S. shale oil production was recovering after a recent price rally renewed concerns of a growing global supply glut.
Palm, soy and crude oil prices at 1016 GMT
Contract Month Last Change Low High Volume
MY PALM OIL MAY5 0 +0.00 0 2161 7
MY PALM OIL JUN5 2203 +34.00 2178 2203 1349
MY PALM OIL JUL5 2195 +33.00 2170 2196 17684
CHINA PALM OLEIN SEP5 5094 +52.00 5018 5100 709774
CHINA SOYOIL SEP5 5920 +78.00 5822 5924 979014
CBOT SOY OIL JUL5 33.17 +3.30 32.86 33.19 5071
INDIA PALM OIL MAY5 451.20 +3.30 445.80 451.20 1682
INDIA SOYOIL JUN5 607.50 +7.80 600.00 607.50 47075
NYMEX CRUDE JUN5 59.25 -0.14 58.87 59.66 24040
Palm oil prices in Malaysian ringgit per tonne
CBOT soy oil in U.S. cents per pound
Dalian soy oil and RBD palm olein in Chinese yuan per tonne
India soy oil in Indian rupee per 10 kg
Crude in U.S. dollars per barrel
($1 = 3.5985 Malaysian ringgit)
($1 = 6.2096 Chinese yuan)
($1 = 63.97 Indian rupees)